Comelec reiterates: Voting schedule is based on the law
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Commission on Elections in Central Visayas (Comelec-7) has clarified on Tuesday, October 31, that the schedule of voting for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections is fixed since 1985.
“It is 7 to 3 [p.m.]. Wa gyud na mautro since 1985,” said Lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, Comelec-7 director.
(It is 7 [a.m.] to 3 [p.m.]. That has not changed since 1985.)
Castillano told reporters on Tuesday, that there was enough time for the voters to prepare for the election schedule.
“Kini man gung balaod, once published, it is [a] notice to everyone. Dili kinahanglang tagsa-tagsaon adtoon nga ‘Uy, 7 to 3 ra ta,’” he said.
(This law, once published, it is [a] notice to everyone. There is no need to go and inform one-by-one tht ‘Hey, we are only from 7 to 3.)
He said that the publication of the law was a sufficient notice to everyone and that the 7 a.m.-3 p.m. schedule was not mandated by the Comelec.
“Kining 7-3 dili ni pagbuot sa Comelec. This is provided for by law. Omnibus Election Code. Batas Pambansa 881 enacted way back 1985. Mao nang ambot ngano man tawn nga karon pa sila kahibalo nga alas tres ra gyud ta taman,” Castillano said.
(This 7-3 p.m. is not the Comelec’s will. This is provided for by Law. Omnibus Election Code. Batas Pambansa 881 enacted way back 1985. That is why I don’t know why they only learned now that it is only at 3 p.m. that it will close.)
Castillano made this comment to address the reports saying there were voters who failed to vote on October 30, especially those who arrived past 3 p.m.
The Article 17 Section 190 of Batas Pambansa No. 881 or the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines says, “The casting of votes shall start at seven o’clock in the morning and shall end at three o’clock in the afternoon, except when there are voters present within thirty meters in front of the polling place who have not yet cast their votes.”
Moreover, in that case, it added that the poll clerk will prepare a complete list that contains the names of those voters, consecutively numbered.
The clerk will call the voters on the list to vote by announcing their names three times.
“Any voter in the list who is not present when his name is called out shall not be permitted to vote,” it added.
This Omnibus Code was approved on December 3, 1985.
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